Over 200 volunteers assisted in the rehoming of the 2024 RHS Chelsea Pulp Friction garden

People’s Choice winner, the 2024 RHS Chelsea Pulp Friction Growing Skills garden, which celebrated the Pulp Friction community has been relocated to its final destination in Nottingham.

The Pulp Friction Growing Skills Garden was designed by Will Dutch & Tin-Tin Azure-Marxen, to reflect the East Midlands-based Community Interest Company (CIC), Pulp Friction’s mission to challenge perceptions of people with learning disabilities. The garden is formed around centrifugal forces, with colours and textures of edible planting spread throughout the garden, symbolising the connection between Pulp Friction and the wider community.

The Silver-Gilt awarded, RHS Chelsea show garden has now been relocated to its final destination at the Stockhill Fire Station in Nottingham, where it will be used as a safe, welcoming and secure community garden by Pulp Friction, the local community and firefighters suffering from psychological stress.

The rebuild story is as heartwarming as the community it represents, as 206 volunteers from (amongst others); the Pulp Friction Community, Nottingham City council, Nottingham University, Nottingham Fire & Rescue, Equifax, Buckley Landscapes and the Nottingham Building Society assisted to rehome the garden. The designers, Dutch and Azure-Marxen provided a plan for the teams to work, and fortuitously, where water was needed, Nottingham Fire & Rescue were on hand with water truck and hoses.

The garden was supported by Project Giving Back, which provided the support for both the RHS Chelsea Build and the relocation. Dutch explained: “It’s up to us and the good cause to sort out how the money is spent, it of course has to be related to the garden. So funds have gone on materials and the build and we have some money remaining that will go in to the pot to maintain and purchase equipment for the organisation to use to maintain the space.”

The final garden at 90m2, is almost double the size of its original RHS Chelsea dimensions, so had to be scaled up. “We continued with the radial arrangement but we could work in more paths and private seating points to allow members who have accessibility requirements the space to move through the garden and be surrounded by planting and quite spaces for both members and the community to sit and relax. The whole point was to create a street side pocket urban garden, forming a green oasis for the public to enjoy, destress and come into contact with trees and rich planting”, explained Dutch.

“All the trees and plants came back, the beauty of have a slightly larger space meant the plants could be spaced out compared to the mad densities we planted at in the show garden. The mature trees and shrubs that created such an impact at show now really help to solidify and create that atmosphere again in the relocation garden. It was really important for us to have trees as big as we could (6m height restriction in the RHS Chelsea Pavilion) because of the impact, fullness and immediate atmosphere” he added.

In terms of the future, Dutch explained that the space will be managed by Pulp and the Stockhill Fire Crew with a program for community engagement with the aim to have a community team assisting in the garden going forward. In terms of their own involvement with the garden, Dutch said: “The whole Pulp team have become great friends to us and we are always on the end of the phone if they need us. We have already started to make plans to have a bit of a reunion next year and see how the garden has developed. The garden is now theirs to enjoy and develop and we will continue to follow their journey.”